Ponquogue Beach Pavilion Design Options Presented

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Plans to renovate the Ponquogue Beach pavilion—a snack bar, outdoor seating area and bathroom stop on Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays—are moving forward. Consultants for Southampton Town presented conceptual designs for the Ponquogue Pavilion on Tuesday, to mixed reactions from the community.

The first plan includes “minimal” changes from the present pavilion. There would be more seating areas on the beach side of the deck, improved interior layouts, expanded space for lifeguards and more showers for the public. A distinction of this plan is that the men’s and women’s restrooms would be separated into two pavilions, with each one sharing space for lifeguards. The skylights in those buildings would be similar to those in the present pavilion, and the snack bar would be where it is now.

In the second, “medium” plan, the most significant difference would be more seating along the western corner of the deck, with the bathrooms combined into the western pavilion—meaning the other building would be solely used by lifeguards. The skylights would be replaced with cupolas with glass on all sides.

The third, “enlarged” plan would expand the women’s bathroom and connect it to a larger lifeguard space. The men’s bathroom would remain in a separate pavilion near the snack bar. The enlarged plan also includes more seating on the west side of the deck as well as on the beach side. This plan includes larger cupolas, but with a glass roof to provide more natural light.

Each plan adds a changing area, increases the seating area to 70 to 100 seats, updates interior and exterior materials, extends the ramp leading from the deck to the beach, and provides more outdoor showers along with strategies to minimize congestion in front of the snack bar.

However, several of the more than 50 residents in attendance at a meeting on Tuesday in Hampton Bays raised concerns about plans to use synthetic materials and called for using wood shingles instead. They also noted that the location of the showers blocks walking traffic from the beach. Residents also wanted the locations of the men’s bathroom and the snack bar to be switched to make it easier to walk to the beach.

After hearing their feedback, Kristen Doulos, the Southampton Town parks director, said the firm hired to design the new pavilion, DCAK-MSA Architecture and Engineering, will draft a fourth option that switches the locations of the snack bar and men’s bathroom pavilions.

“They may incorporate a few changes, but the largest would be to relocate where the concession stand is,” Ms. Doulos said. “In the consultant’s opinion, it would be the most expensive option because of the amount of infrastructure that would have to be relocated.”

Ms. Doulos said the town and the firm are working to put together price tags for all four plans and will release the plans in a survey form on the town’s website after Thanksgiving. Then residents will be able to vote on which plan they prefer, as they did with a survey completed in October.

“I think there are elements of each of them that are quite nice,” Hampton Bays resident Alex Jones said after the presentation on Tuesday. “I do agree that the showers are in a bad location. I’m glad the town took such a large survey. I like the family aspect of the plan with the changing rooms.”

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